PODGE’S POT ROASTED PARSNIP & SHALLOT SOUP
(Serves two to four)
2 large chunky parsnips 1 medium/large potato 6 medium sized shallots 5 spring onions 3 large garlic cloves 1 medium to large onion 1 vegetable stock cube
Rinse the unpeeled parsnips and potatoes under a cold tap (most of the flavour is in the skins). Cut the root ends off both parsnips then chop both parsnips and potato into inch-sized cubes. Peel and half all the shallots.
Place the chopped parsnips, potato, shallots and garlic onto the tray in a large non-stick roasting tray. Lightly coat in rapeseed (healthier) or extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with crushed black pepper and salt (I used Maldon salt cos I’m a posh git). Put into a pre-heated oven for roughly 30 mins at 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6 and roast until all the veg are a nice golden-brown.
Meanwhile, finely dice the onion and spring onion. Heat a small knob of butter and a touch of olive oil over a medium-to-low heat in a large heavy pot (24cm cast-iron pot is ideal). Add the onions and spring onions and gently sweat them for 5 to 10 mins until softened. Season with salt and pepper after the first few minutes.
Now you’re ready to add in the perfectly roasted vegetables. Make sure to squeeze out the garlic from its skin into the pot. Then add roughly 700ml of vegetable stock or until everything is covered with about an inch to spare. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
Finally, transfer the soup to a blender and blitz to a consistency that you like. I recommend a light blitz so it’s still fairly thick and lumpy (you won’t notice any potato skins). You can pour the blitzed mixture back into a pot to heat up again if necessary and serve it in oven-warmed bowls for the ultimate winter-warmer soup. Garnish with grated cheese – parmesan or white cheddar.